Legal Drama

Kanye West Why Is D’Banj Not a Walking Liability for G.O.O.D Music? D’Banj IGNORES MAJOR Announcement of Dissolution of Mo’Hits by Don Jazzy, Goes on Self Promo, Again!

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By now both Africa’s music industry insiders, fans and the public are aware of the confirmation by Don Jazzy, Founder and President of Mo’Hits Records, of the termination of his relationship with D’Banj, his business partner and artist turned Vice President of the company. This announcement came less than twenty four hours ago via Twitter. For insiders in the know, this news is not necessarily a surprise. Reports have indeed circulated that the two have not spoken for over four months so the split seemed inevitable. Nevertheless, Don Jazzy made the announcement less than 24hours ago and added he will donate proceeds from his music production catalogue from day one to charity but says NOTHING about the obligations of Mo’Hits to signed artists under the label. As an executive working for Mo’Hits, can he just arbitrarily make his own personal decision to donate (proceeds from ) his production works in behalf of the company to charity??? What about the  artists signed to the label: Wande Coal, Dr. Sid and D’Prince?

Further, as if that is not enough, his business partner D’banj ignoring Don Jazzy’s announcement that has cluttered the internet, gone viral across Africa and trended on twitter, pulls a PR stunt that in essence says “let me show you how irrelevant you are Don Jazzy. I will drown your news with my new music video Oliver Twist.”

Like who really cares about Oliver Twist? We haven’t even touched ownership/ the intellectual property rights that affects the performance of Oliver Twist given the termination of their relationship. Neither have we touched the issue of the Oliver Twist winner who was supposed to be featured in the video. Is the winner in the video? For all intended purposes, Oliver Twist is irrelevant when the President of a global African owned music brand of which D’Banj co-owns, in less than 24hours BEFORE release of D’Banj’s new video online, tells the world your relationship is over. You don’t ignore it. You speak on it. You don’t drop a video, you speak on what your President just said.

Folks these are executives of one of the major labels in Africa whose affiliation with Kanye West’s GOOD music made headlines the world over. They are not random individuals running a company. They are executives and have a responsibility to their shareholders, if they have one, and definitely their signed artists on their labels and the members of the public to inform of the implications of the termination of Mo’Hits; specific to these signed artists while the two sort out their mess outside of or in a courtroom. Why exactly is D’Banj not acknowledging a major statement from the President of his company; and is instead focused on promoting that  Oliver Twist video again?

When the OccupyNigeria strikes hit Nigeria, D’Banj, Nigeria’s UN Youth Ambassador, ignored youths and instead went promoting  his Oliver Twist video. Now, he continues the same pattern and practice. Clearly, he could care less. Hence my focus on the people who do care and should care, Kanye West’s GOOD Music, Island Def Jam, their Publicists and Entertainment Lawyers.

Folks, what I want to know is this, Kanye West , GOOD Music representatives, Island Def Jam, why is D’banj not a walking liability for GOOD Music? I’d love to hear why. Can anyone within your departments have a talk with Kanye to pull this young man in and make sure he is clear on his intentions given your affiliations with his personal brand?

The bad publicity he continues to generate for GOOD Music is one thing. But, opening GOOD music to potential legal liability in the handling of his affairs both with his fellow GOOD Music signee Don Jazzy and the artists signed to his label ‘Mo’ Hits’ is another story.

D’Banj is not the first African to do business with an American record label and he won’t be the last. What’s really GOOD, GOOD MUSIC?

-Uduak

(NOTE: For the benefit of those inquiring, Oliver Twist Video states it is presented by Good Music in Conjunction with Mo’Hits. This video dropped after Mo’Hits President Don Jazzy confirmed the split/dissolution/termination of Mo’Hits and his relationship with D’Banj. At a minimum, there are legal liabilities that may or may not stem from this that could affect GOOD Music. Certainly D’Banj who dropped the video should address Don Jazzy’s contradictory message and position before releasing the video, given Don Jazzy also produced the track and the recanted/”corrected” statement in Ebony Magazine of Mo’Hits complete ownership by D’Banj. You can search for the video on YouTube.)

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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1 Comment

  1. Anne Stuart says:

    Wow. things are pretty chaotic between them. What was Kanye doing to alleviate the situation?

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